Make an Appointment (978)-854-5090

Know how Branch Retinal Vein Occlusions affect young adults

By admin | Jun 02, 2017

Branch Retinal Vein Occlusions (BRVO) are one of the most common types of retinal vein occlusion. Most branch retinal vein occlusions affect adults age 50 and older. In cases where BRVO has affected young adults, it has been linked with a history of systemic hypertension, increased body mass index and hyperlipidemia. Most importantly, in many cases where young adults have been affected, inflammatory and hypercoagulable conditions are present.

The retinal vessels are unique in that once the integrity of the vessels are compromised, they may not return to their normal state.  The compromise of the vessels walls can lead to blood and fluid leaking into the retina.  If the fluid leaks into the macula, the area of the retina required for fine detailed work, it can lead to a significant visual loss.  Macular edema it is the main cause for visual impairment in patients with BRVO.


Hypercoagulable states are a group of conditions that lead to blood clotting.  It has been linked to young patients suffering from BRVO. People with hypercoagulable states have increased risk for developing blood clots in the arteries and veins. Hypercoagulable states are usually genetic or acquired conditions. Blood clots in the veins or the venous system can travel through the bloodstream and cause thrombosis (blockages). Blockages from blood clots or fluid buildup in the retinal veins impairs the retina’s ability work properly, therefore affecting your vision.

Systemic inflammatory conditions can also affect retinal vessels.  When they affect the retinal veins, it can lead to a retinal vein occlusion.

If you are experiencing sudden changes in your vision such as spots, floaters, and blurred vision it is important to see a retinal specialist right away. A retinal specialist will perform a comprehensive eye exam and preform a series of diagnostic tests. Optical coherence tomography and fluorescein angiography are ways to diagnose if you have a retinal vein occlusion.  Depending on the findings, your doctor will discuss how to best manage and treat your disease.  They will work closely with your other doctors to ensure that any systemic disease present is properly monitored and managed.

Here at Retina Consultants of Boston, our physicians value your eye health. We understand that many systemic diseases can manifest in vision changes.  We are dedicated to preserving the gift of sight, and helping care for your overall health.  We are currently accepting new patients. Please call and make an appointment today!

In the interest of maintaining further transparency and providing a wide breadth of information to our patients and providers, this blog will serve as an educational and informative resource on interesting happenings within Retina Consultants of Boston and in the greater field of Ophthalmology.

Here at Retina Consultants of Boston, Dr. John J. Weiter and Dr. Namrata Nandakumar are on the forefront of diagnostic techniques, treatment and micro-surgical techniques for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments, macular holes, and a number of other issues affecting the vitreous and retina. Check back here frequently for news and updates on our practice and all things retina!